- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Rookie Alex Colome ran into trouble against the power-hitting Los Angeles Angels.

The 26-year-old right-hander surrendered home runs to David Freese, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols - who hit another one against Andrew Bellatti in the eighth inning to help the defending AL West champions beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on Monday night.

Colome (3-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings. He had allowed just four home runs in his six previous starts this season - all of them in an 11-5 home loss to the Yankees on May 11.

“Alex competed well against a lineup with some really good hitters,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He made a couple of mistakes to their big boys and they made him pay. Ultimately, their home runs led to the outcome of the game.”

The Angels opened the scoring in the second when Freese led off with his ninth homer, one shy of his total in 462 at-bats last season.

Tampa Bay rookie Joey Butler, coming off a four-hit game Sunday at Baltimore, tied it in the third with an RBI single. But Trout responded in the bottom half with his team-high 13th homer after Johnny Giavotella and Erick Aybar opened the inning with singles.

Pujols extended the Angels’ lead to 5-3 in the fifth with a solo shot to left, then added a two-run homer in the eighth off Andrew Bellatti to end the scoring.

“When you’re giving up three-run homers and two-run homers, it’s tough to overcome that - especially against a pretty good pitcher,” Cash said.

Garrett Richards (5-3) allowed three runs, six hits and three walks over six innings and struck out four. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.05 ERA in five starts last June en route to a 13-4 record, but his season ended 5 1-2 weeks prematurely after he tore a ligament in his left knee covering first base in a game at Boston.

“We may have had him on the ropes, but then he kind of dialed it up,” Cash said. “You could tell his fastball command wasn’t as sharp as it normally is for him, and he went to some off-speed pitches. But I did like the at-bats we had against him and we made him get the ball over the plate.”

Tampa Bay’s Nick Franklin snapped an 0-for-25 drought in the fourth inning with a two-run homer that sliced the Angels’ lead to 4-3. It was the switch-hitter’s first hit of the season batting left-handed, after an 0-for-20 start against righties. Franklin missed the Rays’ first 38 games with an oblique strain before returning to the lineup on May 17.

Franklin was one of only three players in the Rays’ lineup who had faced Richards before Monday, along with Evan Longoria and David DeJesus.

“It was a big hit for him, and a big hit for us at that time - especially against that pitcher,” Cash said. “I like the swings that he took today. He’s taking aggressive hacks, and he’s looking to do some damage to some baseballs. So hopefully he’s on the right track and can get rolling a little bit.”

Pujols and the rest of the Angels are on quite a roll themselves, having won five straight. They have 13 homers during that stretch, five coming in an 8-6 win over Detroit on Saturday during their four-game sweep of the Tigers.

Pujols’s homers increased his career total to 533rd, one shy of Jimmie Foxx for 17th place all-time. The three-time NL MVP, who has gone deep in four of his last five games, has 1,117 extra-base hits for his career - tying Foxx and Ted Williams for 16th in that department.

Former Angels closer Ernesto Frieri pitched the seventh inning for the Rays before and was designated for assignment after the game. The right-hander was 1-0 with 4.63 ERA in 22 appearances with two saves.

“Ernie did a nice job for us,” Cash said, “but we kind of felt going forward that we were maybe better suited with somebody that can give us a little more length. Not to say that Ernie can’t, but he’s been a one-inning pitcher for most of his career.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Rays: Recalled rookie RHP Andrew Bellatti from Triple-A Durham to replace rookie INF Tim Beckham, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list following Sunday’s game because of a right hamstring strain.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: LHP Matt Moore, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April of last season, is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Wednesday for Class-A Charlotte, after throwing live batting practice twice and two more times in extended spring training games.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (5-4) won both of his starts last season against the Angels in matchups against Jered Weaver and Tuesday’s mound opponent, C.J. Wilson. Last Wednesday, Archer pitched eight innings of two-hit ball in his duel with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and wound up with a no-decision in Tampa Bay’s 3-0 loss.

Angels: Wilson (3-3) has a 3.12 ERA after eight starts, the left-hander’s second-lowest at this stage of a season since becoming a full-time starter in 2010 with the Texas Rangers.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide